Bang on a Can — Music for Airports - Brian Eno
(Point Music 314-536-847-2 ST01, 1998, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-01-01
Ambient music has come a long way since 1978 when innovator Brian Eno drafted his original experiment for use in large international airports. The intent was for passengers to feel good about boarding their planes and allow a sense of calm to initiate itself with the listener, retaining this calm as the flight proceeded from take-off through landing. Eno had his work installed in several cities, with unknown results to most who did not reside in those locations. Bang on a Can is five musicians cast together to faithfully recreate the four original twenty-year-old pieces within a live setting. Produced by Philip Glass, the disc is faithfully rendered, although many additional parts and players have been utilized. There is a risk that the project has now been blown into the pretention of high art due to the use of three art directors. But none of the tracks suffers from recreation of heavenly voices, synth swells or watery piano. The presence of the composer himself gives strong credibility to the end work, though I undoubtedly prefer the original album. It does make you wonder what it would be like to experience this faithful adaptation as you stroll down the corridors to get your boarding pass at San Francisco International Airport. I hope to attend the local performance of the work in October and report on how this minimalist work has evolved into not only a grandiose production, but a satisfying atmosphere of contented relaxation.
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more